‘Gas Storage Made Practical,’ Says Start-Up
Michigan- and Indiana-based GSD Systems is developing a new compressed natural gas pressure vessel architecture, using fiber braiding technology to produce multi-cylinder vessels that share a single internal storage space.
The units can be shaped to fit the space available on a vehicle, the company says, eliminating today’s challenges of safely installing heavy cylindrical units. “There’s no good place to put a big round cylinder,” says co-principal Chris Kondogiani. GSD’s storage vessels can be flat or L-shaped.
The firm says it’s adapted commercial compressed air storage technology, used by firefighters, for example, to CNG. The fiber, Kevlar or other aramid for the GSD, prototypes is woven over an impermeable corrugated thermoplastic elastomer core.
Light and Heavy NGVs Both
The combination of corrugation and woven braid “enables conformability without collapse.” Further saving weight and cost, there is no matrix resin to consolidate the fiber. The structure is instead placed in a DoT-approved enclosure, with a foaming agent to lock the multiple cylinders in place.
The result? “A greater amount of storage for the same amount of space used,” says GSD co-principal Mike Donoughe. For a back-of-cab installation of a Class 8 trucks, GSD says it can provide 20% or even 30% more fuel capacity with half the weight – at lower cost.
GSD says the technology can be used for pressures far greater than the 3,600-psi common for CNG cylinders in North America.
The firm is in the prototype validation stage now, and according to Donoughe is in talks with potential customers “throughout the industry.” The GSD Systems technology is said to be applicable to both light and heavy duty natural gas vehicles.
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Source: GSD with Fleets & Fuels follow-up